JBBBSLA Response to COVID-19

This is an unprecedented time as we work to keep our communities safe and healthy in the face of COVID-19. From all of us at Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, we sincerely hope that you and your family are safe and healthy.

As a nonprofit, specifically a nonprofit whose core mission is to empower the potential of youth through one-to-one interactions, this crisis is pushing us to make difficult decisions.

But we are confident that we can get through this.

Our mission is more critical than ever, and we still need your support to continue offering our life-changing programs to children and teens in our community. We will not lose sight of how programs like ours help combat mental health issues such as loneliness, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem.

We are checking in with our Bigs, Littles, Campers, and Scholarship recipients on a regular basis and are providing support and resources to ensure they continue to realize their fullest potential even during this crisis. We are also rallying behind the parents in our programs as they face their own challenges.

Our Staff

All JBBBSLA staff has been working remotely since mid-March. We have transferred our computer network, phone system, and back-office functions including development and accounting to remote access and all staff have full operational capabilities. We are using video conferencing to keep employees engaged with management and each other. If you need to reach a member of our staff, you can call their office line and they will receive your call or voicemail.

Bigs and Littles

First and foremost, the safety of our Bigs, Littles, families, and staff is our top priority. With social distancing, online learning and added insecurities, Bigs’ connections to Littles are more vital than ever. With the help and support of our match support team, our matches have transitioned to virtual meetups (e.g., FaceTime, Zoom, phone calls, texting, email, etc.). We continue to provide Bigs and Littles with ideas for connecting with each other, virtually, in fun and creative ways. Bigs continue to provide emotional support to their Littles, talk through challenges, and just offer a friendly face on the phone during this time of isolation. For those individuals who do not have access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone, we are trying to provide these devices whenever possible so they can stay in touch with each other during these difficult times. We are also interviewing prospective Bigs and Littles and their families via Zoom and will soon start match introductions via Zoom.


In-person activities held on our Camp Bob Waldorf site have been canceled for Summer 2020. Please see our full statement here.

College Guidance 

Our guidance team has reached out to families and students to check in on them and to continue providing guidance in the college process. Many colleges are changing their admission requirements and procedures in light of the current pandemic. Our counselors are keeping families and students informed about changes and providing support navigating the changing landscape. In the coming months, we had several events planned for students and we will be holding all of them virtually including our kick-off event, SAT prep classes, and summer workshops.


Our scholarship recipients are home from college and continuing to pursue academics via online learning. We are reaching out to them to check-in and provide support. In addition, this is scholarship application time and we are hosting the interviews via an online meeting platform.

Teen Talk

Teen Talk continues to be a vital resource to teens in crisis during these uncertain times. Since most teens are home more than usual, the number of posts has grown exponentially from teens in need of support. Accordingly, we have increased the hours our Teen Advisors are available to respond to meet the growing needs of their peers. In addition, our newest training group for new Teen Advisors is completing sessions virtually and we are making plans for our next cohort to participate in remote training.

Thank You  

We are so grateful to each of you for your patience, understanding, and support during this time. Your health, safety, and well-being are our top priority.

Together, We Are Defenders of Potential.

We have prepared a list of local community resources to guide and assist you during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis to take care of yourself and those around you.

If your workplace has reduced hours or shut down:

CA Employment Development Dept: If your hours have been reduced or your employer has shut down operations because of the coronavirus, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits that range from $40 to $450 per week. You can file a claim with California’s Employment Development Department. Go to this page to learn more about filing a claim.

As of April 28, self-employed and independent contractors can file for unemployment in California. Find out more here!

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that distribution of economic impact payments is underway and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment. To learn more, click here.

NO RENT and OAG both have available letter templates for tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Jewish Community Resources

Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles provides social-emotional support, legal advice, and job placement services to the community through The Ezra Network. They can be reached at: 310 622-3844

SOVA Community Food and Resource Program provides food assistance to individuals of all ages. They operate two service centers in Los Angeles.

JVS has jobs available to people out of work. Click here to learn more.

Loan Resources 

Jewish Free Loan Association has a wealth of resources. Student, Emergency, and Small Business Loans are available. In addition, they have their own Resource Guide with information on available food for all ages, education and food resources for youth (0-17), housing assistance for adults (18-64), senior food programs (65+), and other information focused on paid family leave, employment, disability benefits, unemployment benefits, workers compensation, and tax assistance.

Non-Profit Loans & More – This webpage can be used to apply for small business and non-profit loans. Details about how to qualify and what is available can be found within.

Computer and Internet access:

Free or low-cost internet/phone:  ComcastCharterAT&T and Verizon have pledged to waive any late fee payments for customers affected by COVID.

LAUSD is issuing free Chromebooks to students who need a computer.

Food Assistance/Free Meals:

The Dream Center provides free meals for LAUSD students every day from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm! They are located at 2301 Bellevue Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90026. Learn more here.

LAUSD has 60 sites providing two grab-and-go meals for students and families. For more information and other resources, click here.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has food pantries available all over the county. To find your local food pantry, click here.

CSUINC (Community Services Unlimited) is continuing to support and serve South Central Los Angeles with organic fresh produce and organic groceries during the COVID-19 crisis. Visit the site for details on how to order.

Food has a list of food pantries but also has information on food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc. Additional food assistance locations can be found here.

Everytable is a meal service that prides itself on making sure everyone, everywhere has access to healthy, fresh food at affordable prices. Stores located throughout greater Los Angeles.

Mental Health Resources:

OHEL Children and Family Services offers weekly support groups, webinars, and fun.

UnitedHealth Group is offering free emotional support for those that feel extra stress or fear due to COVID-19. Call the Emotional-Support Help Line from Optum at 1-866-342-6892, TTY 711, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

California Youth Crisis Line: 1-800-843-5200 (call or text)

The Relational Center is currently conducting online support for FREE. Visit the Relational Center site for more info.

Project Return Peer Support Network: Non-crisis support line 1-888-448-9777. More information here.

Department of Mental Health (DMH) Hotline: The DMH hotline connects families with Medi-Cal to a mental health professional. Call 1-800-854-7771 or text “LA” to 741741

Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Warmline aids people who are having difficulty coping with the stresses and crises which arise in daily living or who are concerned about particular personal or interpersonal problems. All calls are confidential, and referrals are available for additional or ongoing services if needed. Hours: 10pm – 6am, Monday through Sunday, including holidays. Service and Intake: 1-(855)-952-9276


LADWP (Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power) is offering payment plans and suspending utility shut-off for those affected by Coronavirus/COVID-19. Contact LADWP directly to find out more at 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397).

SCE (Southern California Edison): Contact the SCE Customer Contact Center to discuss payment extensions or arrangements. SCE also has savings programs for income-qualified customers and follows requirements for customer protections from the California Public Utilities Commission. Details on these programs are available here or call 1-800-950-2356.

SoCalGas Support & Response

For customers experiencing financial hardship or in need of assistance due to COVID-19, call 1-800-427-2200.

Residential Customers– Service disconnects for customers having a hard time paying their bills are temporarily suspended EVEN IF you receive an automated 48-hour shut-off notice. Assistance with paying your bill.

Small Business Customers: Waiving late payment fee.

Elderly (65+) Services

Elderly Meal Program Map, click here

Leave It To Us:  The COVID-19 shopping service connects senior citizens with college students who do grocery shopping for seniors and deliver the groceries to their doors free of charge.

Senior Shopping Times: Stores around Los Angeles are offering senior (60+ or 65+) shopping times. Dates and times vary – check with your local stores for details:

  • Albertsons, Pavilions, Safeway, Vons
  • Aldi
  • Baron’s Market
  • Big Lots
  • Big Saver Foods
  • Costco
  • Dollar General
  • Erewhon Market
  • Gelson’s
  • Northgate Gonzalez Market
  • Ralph’s
  • Smart & Final
  • Stater Brothers
  • Super A Foods
  • Target
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Vallarta Supermarkets
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods

St. Vincent Meals on Wheels offers free meals delivered to the elderly and homebound.

WDACS is providing fresh and frozen home-delivered meals for seniors in LA County.


JVS has jobs available to people out of work click here to learn more.

OnwardCA: One-stop resource for the people of California impacted by job loss during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Onward CA connects you to Essential Life Services, Retraining Opportunities, and Job Opportunities.

Miscellaneous Resources:

Children’s Institute: available resources for children and families, including free meals for children and resources for elderly, immigrant and undocumented, educational, and financial resources.

LAUSD Hotline – (213) 443-1300. When families call the hotline with a need for SHHS (Student Health and Human Services)-related services (e.g., housing/emergency shelter, mental or physical health support), the hotline operator takes down the person’s contact information and submits it to School Mental Health and Healthy Start staff, who provide direct support and/or link the family with one of our community partners.

LAPL resource page with guides for those experiencing homelessness, handwashing station locations, shelters, social services, food accessibility, and consumer protection for those experiencing price gouging or other fraudulent activities related to COVID-19.

Free Arts has resource assistance for food, housing, technology, mental health, education, employment, pay assistance, utility assistance, and general assistance including virtual AA meetings.

EOP DREAM Center at CSU Northridge has created a document specifically for the undocumented and immigrant community in Los Angeles.

WIC – People who have been economically affected by COVID-19 and are pregnant, postpartum or have a child under five years old can apply for WIC services by texting APPLY to 91997, calling WIC at 888-942-2229, or online.

Social Justice Learning Institute has a virtual intake form to describe your areas of need. Once submitted, a member of the SJLI team will connect with you for relief support and/or guidance.

Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles has a number of programs and services dedicated to the following: Older Adult Services, Food & Hunger, Counseling, Intimate Partner Violence Services, Services for People with Disabilities, Child & Family Services, and Jewish Life. The JFS Central Access hotline is 877-275-4537

The JQ Helpline provides inclusive support and resources for LGBTQ+ Jewish, their families, and allies. The JQ Helpline is available to community members in need. If you or someone close to you needs support, call 855-574-4577 or email

We understand there has been much information in the news lately about the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 and this may be causing some concern in our community. As with any public health-related concern, we are taking the spread of this virus seriously and are closely monitoring the situation. We are in contact with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and are following guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

When to Seek Medical Attention:

If you have any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a mask or cloth face covering before medical help arrives.

If you have any combination of these signs and symptoms, see your Primary Care Provider.

Practicing good hygiene and social distancing may be the best way to help limit the spread of disease. To reduce your risk for exposure, the CDC and LACDPH recommend the following precautions:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, with unwashed hands, as much as possible.
  • Avoid close contact (kissing or sharing eating utensils) with people who are sick.
  • STAY HOME when you are sick and do not go out until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Get a flu vaccine – there is no specific vaccine for coronavirus currently.
  • Practice social distancing – this means staying home, avoiding crowds, and staying at least 6 feet away from others whenever possible
  • Wear a mask or cloth face covering when leaving the house for a short period of time to obtain essential goods and services
  • LA County requires face coverings when shopping in grocery stores

We know the current focus on Coronavirus in the media can be frightening, and particularly to children. We will continue to remain informed through the trusted resources listed below and encourage you to do the same for the latest accurate information.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

California Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization

UCLA Health Coronavirus| Daniel Z. Uslan, MD, MBA:


(For Matches and Families)

This page will be updated regularly, so please bookmark it!


Any Age: Random Question Generator
Child:  Would You Rather? (Questions for Kids Game)
Child: Riddles for Kids


All Ages: Choose from over 1,000 Science Projects
All Ages: 4-H At Home
All Ages: The Franklin Institute at Home
All Ages: 58 Easy Science Experiments To Do At Home
Child: Toys from Trash
Teen: Online Interactive Virtual College Tours


All Ages: The Louvre Museum
All Ages: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
All Ages: Virtual Tours of Famous Museums
All Ages: Make a Creature Collage
Child: Arts & Crafts


All Ages: Free Workouts
All Ages: Meditation
All Ages: TikTok Dance Off
All Ages: Kitchen Classroom from America’s Test Kitchen
Child: Cosmic Kids Yoga


All Ages: Online Scattergories
All Ages: Online Monopoly
All Ages: Heads Up!
Child: Online Games
Teen: Online Chess


All Ages: Play Mail Tag
All Ages: Libby Library App
All Ages: Make a Gratitude Journal
Child: Growth Mindset Journal


All Ages: Georgia Aquarium
All Ages: Houston Zoo
All Ages: Los Angeles Zoo: Bring The Zoo To You
All Ages: Monterey Bay Aquarium
All Ages: National Aquarium (Baltimore)
All Ages: San Diego Zoo


All Ages: Visit National Parks
All Ages: Walt Disney World Virtual Tour
Child: Play Outdoor Explorer Bingo
Child: Make a Nature Collage
Teen: Stargazing with the NASA Night Sky Network


Los Angeles Public Library Card: guide to free benefits

Effective Date: April 26, 2022
In response to the changes in state and county public health orders, JBBBSLA has issued new guidelines. Each match, however, must honor the preferences of any party preferring additional restrictions. Volunteers and Parent/Guardians: please communicate with each other about your preferences and expectations before modifying your match’s in-person contact practices.